Wellbeing and mental health

Time to celebrate!

How often do you take the time to rejoice and celebrate the good stuff?  If you could throw a party for something today, what would it be for?  Getting the ironing done, making it to work on time, or hearing the words, “I love you” from someone special?

The sad fact is that we often brush aside the reasons to dance and sing in case people think we’re boasting, bragging, or have simply lost the plot.   Sometimes it feels more acceptable to have a pity party about the negative things in our lives, than it does to relish the good times.

Celebrating the little victories can be immensely empowering, especially if you suffer from anxiety, depression or low self-esteem.  Acknowledging the small wins keeps us motivated and sparks the reward circuitry of our brains.  This releases chemicals which help us experience a sense of pride, ride the high of the feel-good factor and glow with happiness.  It also encourages us to want to achieve more.

It’s true that some cultures embrace the idea of celebration more than others, but the atmosphere of our home or workplace can also have an influence on our ability to enjoy our achievements.  We might dumb down the wins because we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves, because we feel we don’t deserve it, or because we are sensitive to another person who is struggling – to rejoice would seem unkind.

The trouble is that we can raise the benchmark of ‘criteria for celebration’ until only major goals warrant an acknowledgement.  The truth is that we don’t often achieve the major goals, and so life can begin to lack the colour and vibrancy that celebration injects.

So why not put on your favourite feel-good track and have a mini party right now?  Before long you’ll be smiling – and you know how good that is for you, right? 5 reasons to smile